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Personal Independence Payment: Scotland

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 50997, tabled on 17 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate her Department has made of the average waiting time to process personal independence payment applications in (a) Scotland and (b) the Highlands.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

23 September 2021

We are committed to ensuring that people can access financial support through Personal In-dependence Payment (PIP) in a timely manner and reducing customer journey times for PIP claimants is a priority for the Department. We always aim to make an award decision as quickly as possible, taking into account the need to review all available evidence.

Average waiting times for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) new claims made under normal rules (i.e. excluding those processed under special rules) are calculated as the median number of weeks from registration to DWP decision, and published as the “Average Actual Clearance Time”. For claims cleared in July 2021, the latest data shows:

(a) The Average Actual Clearance Time for new claims in Scotland was 26 weeks.

(b) The Average Actual Clearance Time for new claims in the Highlands Local Authority was 28 weeks.


Data Source: PIP Atomic Data Store (ADS)

  • Data for the Highlands Local Authority is unpublished. It should be used with caution as there is likely to be more variability in clearance times at small geographical levels. It may be subject to future revision.
  • The status of claims as 'normal rules' and 'new claim' is shown as at the point of the DWP decision, in accordance with the measure. It is possible for claims to transition between normal and special rules, and between new claims and reassessments, during the course of the claimant journey.
  • Clearance time measures do not include claims that were withdrawn by the claimant or claims that were disallowed by DWP prior to referral to the Assessment Providers (e.g. for failure to meet basic eligibility criteria).
  • The median time is the middle value if you were to order all the times within the distribution from lowest value to highest value. The median is presented here instead of the mean because the mean can be unduly affected by outlying cases (e.g. cases where the person has been hard to reach due to being in prison, hospital, failed to attend the assessment on numerous occasions etc.).
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